Southampton County School Board Northwest District candidate: Paula Dullas

Published 10:13 am Monday, October 23, 2023

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1.) Can you briefly summarize why you decided to run for a seat on the Southampton County School Board? 

For the past two years, I’ve been closely following the activity of our School Board. When I found out that the seat representing the district I live in will be up for election this November, I wondered if I could use my experience and skills to fulfill this role. After much thought and consideration, lots of prayers, and positive feedback from our local community, I concluded that I am highly qualified to represent the Northwest District. I hope to be a first step toward a new vision and setting higher standards for our schools. 

2.) What experience and achievements would you cite that support your bid as being the best candidate to serve as the school board’s Northwest District representative? 

For more than 10 years I’ve been working closely with both public and private schools. I walk the hallways of different schools every week, and through my position I can connect with the entire Staff, but I am also able to work with students and in some cases even parents. My profession is that of a Technology Support Specialist, with an experience of close to 15 years in the IT field. I am also a business owner, managing two businesses, and I have over 5 years experience in the food and farming industry. I have also been a member of my Church’s Parish Council, serving as the president, but also as the treasurer, which allowed me to manage the financial activity of the Church. And as a parent of a student attending Capron ES, and a taxpayer living in Southampton County, I have a personal interest in the success of our school’s district. 

3.) What do you believe are the most important qualities of a good school board member? 

Any school board member should have high expectations for student achievements, making sure the students have access to top-notch education. A good board member relies on data and facts to make their decision. A successful board member has a collaborative relationship with the local community. An effective board member is focused on creating policies to improve student achievement, finds resources to meet district goals, and works united with the other board members and the superintendent to build trust with internal and external stakeholders.

4.) If elected, what goals do you hope to achieve in the forthcoming term? 

It is very important to me to communicate purposely, efficiently, and truthfully with the other board members, the staff of our school district, the parents and my constituents. I want to make sure all communication lines are always open, all concerns are being addressed in a timely manner, and no questions remain unanswered.

I am concerned about having so many teacher openings compared to the neighboring districts. I would like to take a very close look at what causes this issue, and together with the other board members work hard on finding a solution to fill those positions and retain the teachers. 

I would like to see what can be done to improve the diets of our students. A rural school district, with farms surrounding all our schools, should be able to offer healthier and highly nutritious meals. It is researched and proven that a proper diet not only keeps our bodies healthy, but also improves our brain activity and behavior. 

I am also very interested in working closely with the technology department to make sure all the technology needs of our district are being met. The future of this generation of children depends on being comfortable with using technology properly. So I will be promoting innovative programs that give students and teachers access to the latest technologies and resources.

And last, but not least, I want to make sure the financial activity and all the materials presented to the Board Members, are also posted on our district website, as required by the Code of Virginia.

5.) Is there anything that has been said about you by your opponent or others during the campaign that you would like to directly counter or respond to in this space? 

I am not aware of anything said about me by my opponent. I do want to mention that I believe in a campaign that is focused on myself, my achievements, and my goals, rather than commenting on what current board members, or my opponent said or didn’t say about me or other topics.